Sunday, March 8, 2009

Belated Chocolate Armagnac Cake

So clearly my tastes are fickle at the moment. Not 5 days ago I swore I was totally over chocolate cake and couldn't face making another one.

My reasons for relenting were threefold, firstly everyone else's cakes looked so fudgy and fantastic that I was already regretting my decision by last Tuesday night, secondly N's mum was coming over for lunch and we wanted something drool-worthy for dessert and thirdly, well, I'm pregnant dammit and if I want chocolate cake I want it now!

I subbed cranberry juice for the alcohol and let the prunes steep overnight. I also used ground almonds because it was easier though I imagine walnuts and pecans would complement the Armagnac (or regular brandy or scotch) perfectly.

How did it go? Actually it was the first unmitigated Dorie disaster I've ever had. It was a breeze to whip up and I even floured the tin (which I never do) just to make sure it would all work out. I gave it 35 minutes in the oven by which time it was puffed almost to the top of the tin, cracking on top, coming away from the sides and looking done for all intents and purposes. A skewer came out clean and I even used my snazzy new digital thermometer to check the internal temp (I stopped looking when it reached about 75 deg C).

The problems started when I went to lift it from the cooling rack onto a plate and it started to separate in the middle. I then realised just how underdone it was when I plonked the glaze in the middle and it started to sink. Seriously. There was a crackly topped cake tsunami effect going on with the glaze getting lower and lower in the centre and the cake being pushed out towards the edges. I persevered and spread it out anyway.

By this stage I knew it was rubbish so I cut a piece anyway and yep, it was liquid in the middle. Not chocolate lava cake but actual liquid cake mixture exactly like when it went in the oven. Ewww!

So it went back in the oven, glaze and all, for another 40 MINUTES! before it actually started to firm up. No photos of that, it would put you all off your food.

I have no idea what is going on. I haven't had any problems like this with our oven before. If anything it tends to cook faster because it is a convection oven.

I imagine if it had worked as intended it would have been fantastic. What we ended up with was 'meh'. While I am curious to see what would happen next time I can't see myself making this again.

Particularly when after one bite I decided I really am over chocolate cake. *sigh*


  1. Oh, sad! I made minis, so I can't confirm that the baking time was off, but that is a bit of an unmitigated disaster :( Hope you get your love of chocolate back soon!

  2. oh no! your poor cake. i made minis of this also and didn't have any issues. i wonder what went wrong???

  3. Your cake looks so sad. I'm sorry it didn't work out.


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